Diabetes and Digestive System

Diabetes and Digestive System

Our gastrointestinal system supplies us with one of the important functions of life, nutrition, which helps to provide us with energy and offers our body with foundation to produce brand-new body cells from.

The gastrointestinal system is essentially a tube which extends from the mouth to the anus.

Elements of the digestive system

Food passes through the digestion system in the following order:

  • Mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • The small intestine
  • Colon (large intestinal tract)
  • Rectum

Through this process a number of enzymes act on the food we eat (inc liver, pancreas, gall bladder).

The mouth and esophagus

In the mouth, saliva acts to start to break down carbs thanks to an enzyme called amylase. The esophagus is a tube, managed by muscles and free nerves, that helps food to take a trip from the mouth to the stomach.

The stomach

When we consider food digestion, one of the first organs to occur is the stomach.

Diabetes can affect the stomach if the nerves managing the stomach are harmed by high blood glucose levels.

The stomach may likewise be associated with bariatric surgery, used to take on weight problems.

The function of the stomach

The function of the stomach is to break down food from its chewed state into a type that can be travelled through the small intestine.

Carbs are broken down rapidly and spend the least time in the stomach, followed by proteins and after that fats.

The stomach can soak up particular nutrients, such as vitamin B12 and drugs such as aspirin, although the majority of the absorption of nutrients happens within the small intestine.

See also: Diabetes Stomach Pain: Causes and Ways to Find Relief


Gastroparesis is a complication that affects the vagus nerve that manages the performance of the stomach.

Gastroparesis causes delayed emptying of the stomach, which can make control of blood glucose levels more difficult, particularly for individuals taking rapid acting insulin at meal times.

Damage to the vagus nerve may happen if blood glucose levels are frequently too high for a number of years.

The stomach coats the food with a mix of acid and digestion enzymes to assist break the food down even more. A layer of mucous safeguards the stomach lining from being harmed by the acid.

The bottom of the stomach has the ability to contract, which helps to speed up the procedure. When the food is broken down adequately the stomach releases its contents into the duodenum.

Diabetes and stomach surgery

People with a big BMI may be used, or might decide to have, weight loss surgery.

A number of bariatric surgery alternatives involve the stomach.

Stomach band surgery successfully decreases the size of the stomach reducing the size of meals that can be eaten.

Also read: Is Bariatric Surgery For You?

Stomach coronary bypass is a more invasive procedure involving signing up with the top of the stomach with jejunum, for that reason bypassing the lower part of the stomach and the duodenum.

The small intestine

The small intestine is categorised in three parts; the duodenum being the first, the jejunum 2nd and the ileum the final part.

When food goes into the duodenum, the pancreas launches enzymes to assist break down fat, protein and carb. The gall bladder launches bile, which has been produced by the liver, to assist even more break fats down into a kind that can be taken in by the intestinal tracts.

The small intestine is lined with finger-like forecasts, called villi, which provide a huge area facilitating the absorption of nutrients, consisting of carbs, proteins and fats, into the blood stream.

The small intestine also plays a key role in controling blood glucose levels. The small intestine consists of a variety of responsive cells which spot the existence of macronutrients and produce hormonal agents which instructs the pancreas on how much insulin and glucagon to release.

The small intestine plays an important role in both food digestion and in the endocrine reaction to manage blood sugar levels.

In the 21st century, a variety of drugs have been established which are based on the hormones secreted by the small intestine.

Function of the small intestine

The small intestine is made up from the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum.

The small intestine allows the body to take in the macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fats) along with minerals and vitamins.

The small intestine is lined with extremely small finger like forecasts which provide a very large area assisting the small intestine to soak up the nutrients.

An additional role of the small intestine is its part in the endocrine system.

When food passes into different parts of the small intestine, receptor cells respond to the existence of macronutrients and respond by launching hormones which trigger the endocrine system to launch or hinder hormonal agents such as insulin and glucagon, which then affect our blood glucose levels.

Hormonal agents of the small intestine

The following hormonal agents are released by the small intestine:

  • Gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) promotes insulin.
  • Glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) stimulates insulin release and inhibits glucagon release.
  • Glucagon-like-peptide-2 (GLP-2) increases absorption of nutrients and stimulates glucagon release.
  • Peptide YY minimizes cravings.

The injectable drugs for type 2 diabetes, Byetta, Victoza and Bydureon, are called incretin mimetics because they act in a comparable method to the incretin GLP-1.

Type 2 diabetes and ileum transposition surgery

Ileum transposition surgery includes cutting a portion of the ileum and connecting it higher up the small intestine, simply below the stomach.

With the ileum shifted higher up the small intestine, the body’s hormone reaction to the existence of food is improved. A crucial hormone that is stimulated is GLP-1 which assists to prevent hypergylcemia and for that reason helps to enhance diabetes control.

The colon (large intestine)

The colon forms the last primary part of the digestive system, which breaks down product through bacterial action and takes in any last undigested nutrients before passed out the body as waste.

Similar to numerous organs, the performance of the colon can end up being impacted if diabetes is not so well managed.

The colon, or big intestine, is a tube that is wider however not as long as the small intestine.

The segmented look of the colon is offered by the haustra which offer pockets that can contract to move the digested food through.

Function of the colon

An essential function of the colon is to absorb water and salt from the remains of the digested food.

The colon is also home to a range of bacteria, described as gut plants, which have the ability to break down undigested carbohydrates, fats and protein for absorption. Various parts of the colon have different types of active gut flora to break down these different macronutrients.

Diabetes and the colon

Autonomic neuropathy, as a result of high blood glucose levels over a variety of years, is one potential cause of disturbed defecation causing diarrhoea or constipation.

Other elements may consist of diet, a gastrointestinal infection or the presence of another condition such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Treatments for constipation include dietary modifications or laxatives
Treatments for diarrhoea include loperamide, an antidiarrhoeal medication

Colon cancer

Colon cancer is the result of an unchecked growth of cells in the lining of the colon. People with type 2 diabetes have actually an increased risk of developing colon cancer, with the risk rising to as much as 40% higher than people without diabetes.

One Reply to “Diabetes and Digestive System”
  1. Theresa Ventocilla

    If the ileum is placed higher by the stomach to control hormone distribution of glucose and insulin, is the ileum the part of the small intestine that signals the release of glucose and insulin?

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